The area consists of several former or current municipalities: Askainen (Swedish: Villnäs), Lemu (Lemo), Lokalahti (Lokalax), Mietoinen (Mietois), Mynämäki (Virmo), Pyhäranta, Taivassalo (Tövsala) and Vehmaa (Vemo). Not all the area described here is part of the Vakka-Suomi region proper.
The name Vakka-Suomi originates from the 19th century, when a significant export of the region was vakkas, lightweight containers made out of wood.
Most of the area is coastal, with fishing and seafaring traditions, and the area includes significant archipelagos, partly counted as part of the Archipelago Sea, but parts are normal inland agricultural countryside.
The main town in the area is 1 Uusikaupunki (15,000 inhabitants), founded 1617 as the twelfth town in Finland. It has a nice wooden old town, seafaring traditions and a car factory. There are cruises to a few lighthouses in the archipelago. North of Uusikaupunki is 1 Pyhäranta. 2 Pyhämaa off Pyhäranta, 3 Kalanti to the east of Uusikaupunki and 4 Lokalahti to the south of Uusikaupunki nowadays belong to the town. In the inland beyond Kalanti is the other town of the area: 2 Laitila (8,000 inhabitants; regarded town since 1986).
South of Uusikaupunki are 5 Kustavi, entirely in the archipelago, but with most main islands connected by bridges, 6 Taivassalo, also with much archipelago, and 7 Vehmaa (with main village Vinkkilä), reaching to the sea only at the bay Mynälahti, but with many lakes. South of Laitila is 8 Mynämäki with 9 Karjala TL in the inland and 10 Mietoinen by Mynälahti, and 11 Askainen and 12 Lemu, now both part of Masku, both with some inner archipelago.
The area borders Satakunta to the north, the inland of Finland Proper to the east, Greater Turku including Raisio, Naantali proper and the Turku countryside to the south-east, the Archipelago Sea to the south, Åland to the south-west and the Bothnian Sea to the west.
- Mynämäki, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Municipal tourist information of Mynämäki, including Karjala and Mietoinen.
- Guides, ☏ . Mynämäki guide association
- Pyhämaa, Rantsali, ☏ , . The tourism association of Pyhämaa: Pyhämaan matkailuyhdistys.
- Vehmaa, Saarikontie 8, ☏ , email@example.com. The office for municipal services acts as tourist information for Vehmaa when open, otherwise the library (see Connect below) provides that service.
Get in and around
Turku, 20 km south-east from Lemu, is one of Finland's main cities, with good connections by rail, road and ferry, and a minor airport. National road 8 (E8 through Finland and Norway) leads north-north-west from Turku, through the centres of Mynämäki and Laitila. Road 43 leads from the inland via Laitila and Kalanti to Uusikaupunki.
Road 192, Kustavintie, leads from Raisio (just north of Turku) via Lemu and Mietoinen around the Mynälahti bay to Taivassalo and Kustavi. Near the northern shore of Mynälahti, Y-tie (road 194) forks off to Vehmaa and Lokalahti. Road 196 leads along the coast from Taivassalo via Lokalahti to Uusikaupunki and Pyhäranta and finally to E8.
There are express coaches along the E8 and buses to Kustavi, Uusikaupunki and some other centres. For minor villages, don't rely on their being buses without checking. Timetables at Matkahuolto.
Turku has connections from Tampere and Helsinki.
Regional traffic along the railway from Turku to Uusikaupunki has been planned, but as of 2021 it is used only for freight.
- 1 Louhisaari manor (Villnäs slott), Louhisaarentie 244 (in Askainen, via the church – many navigators suggest a route over the fields), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 2021: 15 June–August Tu–Su, July daily 11:00–17:00; free guiding in English 15:00 W Sa, July also M. Manor from 1655 with English landscape garden. The property belonged to the mighty Fleming family 1450–1791 and to the Mannerheim family 1795–1903. Birthplace of Gustaf Mannerheim. Now a museum. €10/8/4 (museum card valid; children 7–17 years); private guiding for groups €35, to be reserved.
- Mynämäen kotiseutumuseo, ☏ , email@example.com. Mynämäki local history museum. Rectory hall from early 1900s, textile industry, Olavi Ahlgrenin art exhibition, and changing exhibitions.
- 2 Tavastilan kotiseutumuseo, Tavastilantie 11 (Tavastila, Mietoinen), ☏ . Local history museum in old farm. Main building from mid-19th century, used as school 1882–1954. 19th century windmill from Lokalahti. The exhibition touches the school system, handicraft, home economics and agriculture. Small herb garden. Maintained by the village association. €3.
- 3 Vehmaa local history museum, Mynämäentie 157 (in the village Lahdinko). In summer Sa–Su 12:00–15:00, other times by agreement. Local history museum, including stone quarrying and stone work, and an allotment croft. See also the quarry trail Tummamäen luontopolku in Do. €2.
There are old churches in Askainen, Lemu, Lokalahti, Mietoinen, Mynämäki, Taivassalo and Vehmaa.
- 4 Askaisten kirkko, Askaistentie 788 (at the start of the avenue to the Louhisaari manor). Built as manor church. Current shape from 1653, when the Fleming family resided at the manor, at the zenith of the Swedish Empire. By the church is a memorial for the "Mannerheim knights", decorated in World War II.
- 5 Karjalan kirkko, Karjalankyläntie 58. Wooden church in Gothic Revival style, built 1869. Local history museum in the yard (see above).
- 6 Lemun kirkko, Monnoistentie 18. Medieval stone church, probably built between 1460 and 1480. The 14th century stone chapel has been transformed into the sacarist. The crusifix and baptismal font are from the 13th-century wooden chapel preceding it. In the yard is a local history museum: Kemppien tupa.
- 7 Mietoisten kirkko, Kirkkotie 104. Services twice a month. Church built 1641–1643 by Henrik Klausson Fleming.
- 8 Pyhän Laurin kirkko, Kirkkokatu 3 (in Mynämäki). Third in size among medieval stone churches in Finland, probably built in the 1430s, when Magnus Tavast from Mynämäki was Bishop of Finland. Dedicated to Saint Lawrence.
- 9 Vehmaan kirkko, Kirkkotie 23 (in the parish village of Vehmaa, 2.5 km west from Vinkkilä). In summer and by agreement. Services year round Su 10:00. Medieval "gray stone" church.
- 1 Savikulma, Suorsalantie 40 (5 km north from Pyhe), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Laajoki river by canoe or bike, the latter a 13.5 km route. B&B accommodation in flying tent for two or normal room (double, not in winter). Shared facilities. River beach, garden. Advance booking needed. Canoe: 1 hr including basic training €10, 6 hr €25, 1 day €35; bike €10.
- Vehmaa DiscGolfPark, Seuralantie (Vehmaa; by the sports ground north of the church). Frisbee course in wooded terrain.
- Summer theatre.
- Pyhämaan Suviteatteri (Pyhämaa). Mostly in July. Amateur theatre, mostly musical comedy.
- Masku kayaking route. Kayaking route off Lemu. The 30-km ring route consists of seven 2.5–7.7 km legs in the archipelago between Askainen, Lemu, Masku, Naantali and Merimasku. As sea kayaking this is a sheltered area, but still not suitable for beginners at fresh winds. The four 2.5–4.4 km eastern legs have their endpoint on the mainland, the northernmost of them (numbered 3) is at the Kuurnanpää beach (see below). The northern part of the route features bird wetlands, don't get too close in spring and summer.
- Kolkanpolut. Hiking trails in Lemu: three routes connected by small roads, together some 20 km. The trails connects also to the hiking route network of Mietoinen. Reisvuori and Verainen each has a lean-to shelter with campfire site and dry toilet. Each of the routes features a lookout point. The Kuuvanvuori route goes through a nature reserve.
- 5 Mietoistenlahti (2-km roads to the nature path from east of the Laajoki bridge in Pyhe and north of the Mynäjoki bridge at Mietoinen, both junctions at Kustavintie.). Bird sanctuary by the mouth of Laajoki. Bird watching towers.
- 6 Otajärvi, Kodisjoentie 425 (signage from E8 in Ihode, Pyhäranta; 6 km along minor roads), ☏ , email@example.com. Lake with rich nesting birdlife. Unmanned visitor centre on-site. As of 2021 the birdwatching tower is in bad shape and should not be used. The visitor centre, its dry toilet and the observation platform nearby are accessible by wheelchair. Free.
- 7 Oukkulanlahti, Kiuaskarintie 38 (take Monnoistentie to the south-west from the church in Lemu, information sign and parking at its extension, 3.2 km from the church). Bird wetland. Nature path to an observation tower (possibly removed for renewal as of 2021).
- 8 Tummamäen luontopolku (by the village Lahdinko in Vehmaa), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Nature trail by stone querry (1.6 km). Lean-to shelter, campfire site, dry toilets. Guiding by agreement, otherwise free.
- 9 Pamprinniemen luontopolku, Hauintie 259 (Ketteli, Pyhämaa). 24 hr daily, but in winter access sometimes less easy. 4-km Nature trail around the shores of the peninsula Pamprinniemi. Birdlife, seascapes, old spuce woods, old pines, posters on biblical themes. The area is on grounds of the congregation, but belongs to the Natura 2000 network (PDF map).
Beaches and sauna
- 10 Pikisaari, Pikisaarentie.
- 11 Kuurnanpää, Kaidantie 111 (from Lemu church Monnoistentie 2.85 km to south-west, turn left to Kaidantie, the beach is at the end of the road).
- 12 Himoisten rantasauna, Laituritie 27 (270 m south from Y-tie ca 8 km west from Vinkkilä), ☏ . 24 hr daily; shared sauna 16 Jun–8 Aug W–Su 18:00–21:00, 13 Aug–30 Sep F–Sa 18:00–21:00. Sauna with beach. Maintained by the local village association. Free.
- 13 Hietajärven rantasauna, Hietajärventie 34. 24 hr daily, shared sauna daily Jun–Aug 18:00–21:00, in winter Su 17:00–. Lakeside sauna with beach. Ice swimming in winter.
- Lukkari-Jukola (Jukolan viesti). 18–19 June 2022. Giant night relay orienteering event: 20,000 orienteers from 25 countries and 50,000 spectators expected. The men's Jukola is arranged for the 73rd, women's Venla 44th time. Locations vary, 2022 the races are in Mynämäki.
- K-Supermarket, Keskuskatu 27 (Mynämäki centre).
- 2 Pyhämaan kyläkauppa, Pyhämaanraitti 34 (Pyhämaa village, 0.5 km from the village's guest jetty), ☏ , email@example.com. 10:00–18:00. Small country-side shop. Groceries, souvenirs; also flowers, hardware etc.; fuel, post services.
- 3 Pyhämaan valinta, Lyökintie 416 (Kammela village, some 7.5 km south-west from the Pyhämaa village), ☏ , , firstname.lastname@example.org. M–W 10:00–17:00, F 10:00–18:00, Sa 10:00–16:00, Su 11:00–16:00. Groceries and some other products. Also a second hand shop.
Eat and drink
- 3 Jussin grilli, Lepistöntie 2 A (Mynämäki centre), ☏ , email@example.com. M–F 10:30–18:00 Sa–Su 12:00–18:00. "Speciality: ordinary grill fare". Lunch soup with salad and coffee: €7.50; sausages, burgers, burger meals etc. €1–14.
- 4 Tuomaksen Tupa (Veraisen Leipomo), Valtakatu 2 (Mynämäki centre), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M–F 5:30–18:00 Sa 08:00–16:00; lunch M–Sa 10:30–15:00; à la carte M–F 10:30–17:00, Sa 10:30–15:00. Bakery and restaurant/café Lunch M–F €9.70, Sa 10.70; à la carte €7–16.
- 5 Kuppi ja tassi (Kotileipomo Taina Vuorio), Kettelintie 137 (1.4 km north of the village), ☏ , email@example.com. June–mid Aug M–Sa 09:00–17:00, Su 12:00–17:00. Summer café, bakery and catering.
- 6 Pyhämaan pirtti, Pyhämaanraitti 35 (by Pyhämaa village), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M–Th 11:00–16:00, F 11:00–17:00, Sa 11:00–16:00, Su 12:00–16:00; lunch M–Sa 11:00–14:00; buffet Su 12:00–15:00. Most dishes based on fish, some dishes from their own catch (at least the salmon probably from elsewhere). Best offer for vegetarians probably their cheese salad. In summer also pizzas and beef. Accommodation in the yard (see Sleep) Lunch M–F €10, Sa €12; Buffet Su €25; à la carte €10–20; take away salmon soup €10/L.
The sleeping options are mostly camping and cottages (most of which are unavailable in winter). There are a few B&B-like accommodations. Wild camping according to the right to access is possible, but look for larger woods, where you are unlikely to disturb passers-by, or use the designated places along hiking routes.
- 4 Loma- ja hoitokoti Laiho, Karjalantie 2071 (Toma, 11.5 north from Karjala parish village), ☏ (landline), (Pirjo-Liisa), (Pertti). B&B. Café open when hosts at home. Meals by advance request.
- 5 Lemmi Caravan, Caravantie 76, ☏ , , email@example.com. Caravan camping and cottage (own linen). €17+electricity; cottage (5 persons) €35, €25 successive nights.
- 6 Kilatupa (Kilan rälssitila), Kilakallustentie 25, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Small house (three rooms) at a small mansion. €25/person (children < 12 years half price), 8 persons €150; linen €5.
- 9 Pyhärannan Kievari & Camping, Suojalantie 9 (600 m from the Pyhäranta village), ☏ , , , email@example.com. Check-out: 12:00. Camping and cottages. Beach. Rowing boat available, canoes for hire. Shared sauna daily 18:00–22:00 included. Café (which works as reception) with fast food, open daily June–August, lunch W Su; karaoke or events with live music in summer weekends. Cottages (2–8 persons) €40–80, cleaning €20/40; caravan lot €12/10 +€4/2 per person, electricity €4; tent €10/5 per person, children <12 free.
- 10 Fallinranta, Vaarniementie 16 (west of Hakkeenpää, Taivassalo), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: Su 16.00, check-out: Su 13:00/15:00. Cottages by the sea and accommodation in an old farmhouse. Running water and electricity. The farmhouse has four rooms, kitchen/living room and wood-fired sauna. Linen and breakfast ingredients included in a farmhouse stay, to be booked in advance (exclusive use). The cottages are in summer available only for whole weeks. Rowing boat and kayak or canoe included with some cottages. Small motorboats for hire (20 Hp outboard engine), to be kept at the shore of the cottage or in Hakkeenpää. The farmhouse: €60+€60/double room, extra child bed €20; cottages €750–1200/week, linen +€20/set, pet +€40/week.
- 11 Ihala Camping, Lepäistentie 825 (Lepäinen off Uusikaupunki; some 4.5 km north from the centre by Hiuntie, then 8.25 km by Lepäistentie), ☏ , email@example.com. Camping area by the shore. Cottages (for four) and rooms (for four or eight). Pets allowed in some of the cottages and rooms. Wood-fired self-service sauna, shared sauna (1 hr/sex) in Saturdays. Caravan May–Sep €20+€4.5/1.5 per person (children 0–17), off season €25; tent €14+€4.5/1.5; cottages €80; rooms 4 persons €65, 8 persons €80; Midsummer more expensive; mooring included in the prices; linen €8/person, towel €3; sauna €20/hr, shared sauna free.
- 12 Pirkholma, Pirkholmantie 137 (Iso Pirkholma off Uusikaupunki; some 4.5 km north from the centre by Hiuntie, then 6.75 km by Lepäistentie, then 1.4 km by Pirkholmantie), ☏ (calls), (SMS), firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: M Th F 14:00, check-out: Su 12:00. Seaside cottages (½–1 km from the "reception"), 2+2 persons (one for 2+4). Electricity, running water, stove, oven, tableware, indoor toilet, shower, wood-heated sauna, indoor fireplace, swimming jetty, linen included. Rowing boat in season. Pets welcome. €390–920/week (old cottage in spring/autumn–new cottage in Midsummer); off season weekend €290–340.
- 13 Rairanta, Vanhakartanontie 216 (8 km south by road; signage from Lokalahdentie), ☏ (landline), (mobile), email@example.com. Caravan camping, open year round. Kiosk. Child friendly beach. Rowing boats. Wi-Fi. €30/caravan.
- Kesäniemi, Riihivainiontie (signage from Kustavintie, from the Vilumarket and St1 fule station 700 m east of the sound Vehmaansalmi), ☏ , . 1 Jun–31 Aug, off season in weekends. Camping site. Caravan €30; tent €25 (max 4 persons); harbour fee €25 (max 4 persons); rented caravan €60; laundry €5.
- Lahtivuo, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Rooms with hostel standard. Cottages for longer stays.
- 10 Mynämäen kirjasto, Keskuskatu 13, ☏ , email@example.com. M–Th 12:00–19:00, F 10:00–16:00 Sa 10:00–14:00. Library. Public computers and Wi-Fi. Bike to borrow (leave passport as deposit), to be return at latest 15 min before the library closes.
- 11 Vehmaan kirjasto, Vinkkiläntie 17 (in Vinkkilä), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M W–F 07:00–19:00 Tu 07:00–12:00 Sa–Su 07:00–18:00. Library and tourist information. Wi-Fi. PCs, ipads; scanner, printer etc. Changing exhibitions (mostly local artists).
- Bothnian Sea National Park – outer archipelago with lighthouse islands, birdlife and with some luck also seals; tours from Kustavi, Uusikaupunki and towns farther north.
|Routes through Vakka-Suomi countryside|
|Pori ← Laitila ←||N S||→ Inland of Finland Proper (Nousiainen, Masku) → Turku|